June 10, 2001

E-mail I sent to friends who asked about the impact of Tropical Storm Allison on our lives...

We're fine. Phone service is intermittent. We haven't had any trouble getting calls out but I think people are having problems getting calls in.

We had about 4 inches of water in our place early Saturday morning. Cleverly, we got the electronic equipment up on the kitchen counter or upstairs and what was left was either pretty water resistant or (like Saki's sofa) on its last legs.

The icky part was that about 3-4 a.m. a big tow truck went by that set up a wake that pushed in our door and all the leaves and mud and muck and stuff from the raised beds came flowing in. Our landlord was prescient enough to call the carpet company about 5 a.m. so we actually had a crew out yesterday afternoon ripping out carpet from all 5 units. Poor Rich (the landlord) doesn't have flood insurance -- our neighborhood hasn't flooded before -- so it may be a while before we get new carpet back in.

You may have read the reports about Texas Medical Center. It's as bad as it sounds, if not worse. We had three feet of water in the basement of the Library -- where the Systems Office, Computer Lab, and Archives are located.

I spent about five hours there today, the first three just pulling out trash -- waterlogged envelopes etc. -- so that we could get in and start dealing with the damaged materials. We're hoping to reopen tomorrow but that's only if we get power back on and even then we'll be without phones, networks, etc. I'll be back tomorrow, regardless, to deal with crap.

Jeremy, on the other hand, won't be back to work 'til Tuesday at the earliest. His building -- the UT Houston Med School, for heaven's sake -- was actually condemned, thanks to the tubercular mice, rabid chimps, and radioactivity that was stored in the basement! We'll see what happens.

The sad part is that ALL of the hospitals except Texas Children's, M.D. Anderson, and Ben Taub lost power, including back up power. Staff at Memorial Hermann had to hand ventilate patients until they could get transferred out -- usually by carrying them down nine flights of stairs in the dark to put 'em on helicopters and ambulances to go elsewhere. Jeremy just got off the phone with our friend who's a case nurse at Methodist Hospital -- they lost at least a couple ICU patients because of this.

But that's what happens when you a flat area with poor drainage gets three feet of rain in three days' time...

More later.



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